Monday, February 5, 2018

Man offers his daughter to the Buddha (sutra)

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly based on original translation by Ven. Thanissaro, Magandiya Sutra (Sn 4.9); G. P. Malalasekera, Dictionary of Pali Proper Names

If you want "inner peace," Ivanka, then...
[In the Magandiya Sutra a man named Magandiya offers in marriage his extremely desirable daughter to the Buddha, who was a young and handsome ascetic. But he shows no interest. The man is shocked, so the Buddha declines his generous offer.]

The Buddha was very beautiful Central Asian.
Māgandiya is a Brahmin from the Kuru country with a very beautiful daughter named Māgandiyā. Many high status men sought her hand in marriage, but the Brahmin did not consider them worthy. One day the Buddha became aware that both Māgandiya and his wife were ready to become enlightened, so he paid their village a visit.

Māgandiya saw him and, noting the auspicious marks on his body, told him of his alluring daughter and begged him to wait until she could be brought.

Look at me, so beautiful! - No thanks.
The Buddha said nothing, and Māgandiya ran home and returned with his wife and daughter arrayed in all their splendors. On arriving, they found that the Buddha had gone, but his footprint was visible.

Māgandiya's wife, who was skilled in such matters, said that the owner of such a footprint was free from all passion (i.e., enlightened and liberated).

But Māgandiya paid no attention and, going on a little way, found the Buddha and offered him his daughter. The Buddha thereupon told them of his past life, his renunciation (letting go) of the world, his conquest of Māra the Tempter, and the unsuccessful attempts of Māra's three very beautiful daughters to lure him back to worldly cares.

Compared to them Māgandiya was, he said, a corpse filled with 32 impurities, an impure (asubha) vessel painted without that he would not even want to touch with his foot. At the end of the discourse, Māgandiya and his wife become enlightened to the third stage or anāgāmins (DhA.iii.193ff.; SNA.ii.542f.)

Compare this sutra to Dvy.515ff., where the name is given as Mākandika and he is called a parivrājaka. The daughter's name is given as Anūpamā, and the wife is Sākalī.
It is said that as a result they put their daughter into the charge of her uncle, Culla ["Minor"] Māgandiya, retired from the world, and became fully enlightened arhats (DhA.i.202).
Hey, you! Want my daughter? I have three.
[The Buddha:] On seeing [the alluring dancing daughters of Mara] -- Discontent, Craving, and Passion (Tanhā, Arati, and Ragā) -- there was not so much as the inkling of sexual desire.

So what would I want with this woman [your daughter], who is full of urine and excrement, both of which I would avoid touching even with my foot if I came across them on a road as I was walking.
Look at my beautiful daughters, Prince!
[Magandiya:] If you do not want this gem of a girl, who is coveted by many kings, then what sort of view, precept, practice, life, attainment of [further] becoming [rebirth] do you argue [propose, promote, advocate]?

[The Buddha:] The thought "I argue for this" does not occur to one when considering what is clung to among doctrines (dharmas). Looking to let go of views I saw and found inner peace.
I don't mind giving Daddy whatever he needs.
[Magandiya:] Sage, you speak without clinging to any preconceived judgments. This "inner peace," what does it mean? How is it proclaimed by an enlightened person?

[The Buddha:] One does not speak of purity in connection with view, learning, knowledge, precept, or practice. Nor is it found by a person through lack of view, learning, knowledge, precept, or practice.
  • [NOTE 1: The Pali language version of the first sentence puts the words for "view, learning, knowledge, precept, and practice" in the instrumental case, which stands for the relationship "by means of" or "because of." But it also has an idiomatic meaning, "in terms of." (To keep the translation neutral on this point, I have translated it using the idiom, "in connection with," which can carry both possibilities.) The second sentence puts the words for lack of view and so on in the ablative case, which carries the meaning "because of" or "from." If we assume that the instrumental case in the first sentence is meant in the sense of "by means of," then we are dealing -- as Magandiya asserts -- with plain nonsense: The first sentence would say that a person cannot achieve purity by means of views and so on, while the second sentence would be saying that one cannot achieve purity by means of no view and so on. The fact that the two sentences place the relevant terms in different grammatical cases, however, suggests that they are talking about two different kinds of relationships. If we take the instrumental in the first sentence in the sense of "in terms of," then the stanza not only makes sense but also fits in with teachings of the rest of the Pali language sutras: A person cannot be said to be "pure" simply because one holds to a particular view, body of learning, and so on. Purity is not defined in those terms. The second sentence goes on to say that a person does not arrive at purity from a lack of view and so on. Putting the two sentences together with the third, the message is this: One uses right views, learning, knowledge, precepts, and practices as a PATH, a means of arriving at purity. Once one arrives one lets go of the path (does not cling to what was so helpful), for the purity of inner peace, in its ultimate sense, is something transcending the means by which it was reached. In the stanza immediately following this one, it is obvious that Magandiya has not caught on to this distinction. For further illustrations of the role of Right View in taking one beyond all views, see AN 10.93, AN 10.96, and MN 24. (The analogy of the relay stage coaches in MN 24 actually seems more tailored to the issues raised by the Buddha's remarks in this discourse than it does to the question it addresses in that sutra). Ven. Thanissaro also references sections III/H and III/H/i of his book on the 37 Requisites of Enlightenment, The Wings to Awakening.]
Letting go of these, at peace, no longer grasping, independent [of all teachers and teachings to know what is path and not-path to complete freedom], one would not long for becoming [further rebirth].

[Magandiya:] If one does not speak of purity in connection with view, learning, knowledge, precept, or practice and yet it is not found by a person through lack of view, learning, knowledge, precept, or practice, it seems to me that this teaching is confused, for some assume a purity in terms of -- by means of -- a view.

[The Buddha:] Asking questions dependent on views, you are confused by what you have grasped [and clung to]. So you do not glimpse even the slightest notion [of what I am saying]. That is why you think it is confused.

Whoever reckons [construes, thinks in terms of] "equal," "superior," or "inferior," by that such a person would dispute, whereas to one unaffected by these three, "equal" and "superior," do not occur.

Of what would the Brahmin say "true" or "false," disputing with whom: he in whom "equal," "unequal" are not.

Having abandoned the home-bound life, living free from society, the sage in villages creates no clinging relationships. Free of sensual passions, free from yearning, one would not engage with people in quarrelsome debates.
  • [2: For explanation of this stanza, attributed to Ven. Maha Kaccana, see SN 22.3.]
Those things aloof from which one should go about in the world, the great one would not take them up and argue for them. As the lotus flower is unstained by the water or mud [it grows up in], so the sage, a proponent of peace, free of greed [lust, craving, clinging], is unstained by sensual craving and the world.

An attainer-of-wisdom is not measured or made proud by views or what is thought, for one is not fashioned from them.
  • [3: "Measured...made proud" are two meanings of the Pali word manameti.]
One would not be led by action.
  • [4: "Action" here can mean either karma in its general sense. That is to say, the attainer-of-wisdom has gone beyond creating karma [because fully enlightened beings no longer make karma that bears a karmic result; instead their actions are called kriya ("simple actions") no longer ripening in the future, all of which they are liberated from]. Or in a more restricted sense, it is "ritual action." According to Nd.I, it refers to the factor of "formation" or "fabrication" (sankhara) in the analysis of Dependent Origination. (See SN 12.2).]
Learning does not reach a conclusion in any entrenchments. For one dispassionate toward perception there are no ties. For one released by wisdom [enlightened, liberated], there are no more delusions.

Those who grasp at [and cling to] perceptions and views go about butting their heads in the world.
Blood moon blue moon 2018

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